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Conversation #026

Sabbath Rest


 

Dear Truth Seeker,

You wrote,

**********************

Just a quick thing... you ever heard of Christadelphian? They've got a lot of supposed Bible information.....check out some of their material for me and see what you think, especially on Sabbath. their site is: jgarvey@learnbible.net

Oh yeah, check out the listing on Jesus pre-existing or not and God 3 persons or one..... let me know.

I'm still reading Cosmic Conflict and went to church today....my second Sabbath.... i'm making good friends there and am going to organize a meeting for people who'd like to get together and discuss real-life problems and stuff.

till then,

Truth Seeker

**********************

My answer:

I checked out the Christadelphians a long time ago and had forgotten what they teach. Have been to the site, and like J Garvey’s setup. With just verses to read and not too much talk each one can make up their own mind.

It’s great to hear that you are now keeping God’s Sabbath. I’d like to share with you my understanding of that important day. The literal seventh-day Sabbath truth is so obvious in the Bible that it needs no great query but its spiritual meaning escapes many.

Like the pre-existence of Jesus. He was the Creator of the universe so He was certainly here before His human birth at Bethlehem. He is called the LORD God in Genesis 2. See also Colossians 1:15-16 and Ephesians 3:9. The final word is set out in the letter to the Hebrew Christians.

Hebrews 1:1-3

God [the Father], who at sundry times and in divers [different] manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days [of the Jewish dispensation] spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, BY WHOM ALSO HE MADE THE WORLDS; Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, AND UPHOLDING ALL THINGS BY THE WORD OF HIS POWER, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high...

He not only made them, but He keeps them going moment by moment (upholding) for He is not an "absentee landlord". He knows the number of hairs on our head and that is constantly changing! That may answer another question you asked one time - "Where is Jesus?" After His ascension He "sat down on the right hand" waiting for His people to need Him for the Day of Atonement cleansing.

Jesus also advised us that God is our "Father" and He is His "Son", which tells us that although He belongs in the same family as His Father, He is not equal to Him just as we are not equal to our earthly fathers. So there is no Scriptural foundation for a trinity of equal beings. There are three persons, but they have their own definite positions. At the end of time we will see it all, as it is written:-

1 Corinthians 15:22-28

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end, when He [the Son] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He [the Son] shall have put down all [illegal] rule and all authority and power. For He [Jesus] must reign, till He has put all enemies under His feet.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

For He [the Father] has put all things under His [the Son’s] feet. But when He says all things are put under Him, it is manifest [clear] that He [the Father] is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued to Him [the Father], then shall the Son also Himself be subject to Him that put all things under Him, that God [the Father] may be all in all.

 

But let’s get back to the Sabbath and its meaning...

Hebrews Chapter 3

1 Wherefore, holy brothers and sisters, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider [think carefully about] the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus [as He was on earth]; 2 Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3 For this Man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who has built the house has more honour than the house. 4 For every house is built by some man; but He that built all things is God.

5 And Moses verily was faithful in all His house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

The difference between Moses and Jesus?

John 8:34-36

Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant [slave] of sin. And the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the Son abides ever. IF THE SON therefore shall make you FREE, you shall be free indeed [in fact, in practice].

 

To continue in Hebrews:-

7 Wherefore [for this reason] (as the Holy Ghost says, "Today if you will hear His voice, 8 HARDEN NOT YOUR HEARTS, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 when your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years [but would not respond]."

10 "Wherefore [for this reason] I was grieved with that generation, and said, ‘They do always err in their heart;’ and ‘They have not known My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath, they shall not [will not] enter into My rest [a special condition which was being offered].)"

Paul here tells us that the Holy Spirit was grieved by the people of the exodus because they refused to enter into His "rest". He offered it, they rejected it! Then Paul gives US a warning...

12 Take heed, brothers and sisters, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort [encourage] one another daily, while it is called "Today" [the time of opportunity]; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end; 15 while it is said, "Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation."

His point is that about 1500 years before he wrote this letter, the Holy Spirit had tried to get the exodus people to enter into His Sabbath "rest" but they would not. It is written of them that they greatly polluted it!

Ezekiel 20:13-17

But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness: they walked not in My statutes [My laws], and they despised My judgments [daily advice on how to keep the laws], which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and My Sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said I would pour out My fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.

BUT I wrought for My name's sake, that it should not be polluted [misunderstood] before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. Yet also I lifted up My hand to them in the wilderness [as a sign of a solemn oath], that I would not [could not] bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; because they despised My judgments [advice], and walked not in My statutes, but polluted My Sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols [and I couldn’t get to them].

Nevertheless My eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.

They all died of various plagues and snake attacks because they ignored their protection (See Numbers 21:8-9). The last few thousand perished as they were worshipping the god of sex, Baal-peor. (Numbers 25:1-9). There were some obedient ones, of course, but they were very much in the minority. Later generations continually repeated the rejection as the next few verses in Ezekiel tell us. Alas, that was the norm for the Jewish people.

Back to the Sabbath in Hebrews:-

16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was He grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? [They suffered the "wages of sin". Romans 6:23]. Only two individuals out of all the adults who left Egypt actually made it alive into the promised land (the Christians died too).

18 And to whom swore He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not? 19 SO WE SEE THAT THEY COULD NOT ENTER IN BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF [and this was their great problem].

Now comes the great warning!

Hebrews Chapter 4

1 Let us [Christians] therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His "rest", any of you should seem to come short of it.

2 For to us [the New Testament people] was the gospel preached, AS WELL AS to them [the Old Testament people]: but the word preached did not profit them [the OT people], NOT BEING MIXED WITH FAITH in them that heard it. 3 For we which have believed DO enter into "rest", as He said, "As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest:" although the works were finished from the foundation of the world [but the "rest" carried on, Genesis 2:1-3].

4 For He spoke in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, "And God did rest the seventh day from all His works." 5 And in this place again, "If they shall [would only] enter into My rest."

6 Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached [in the Old Testament] entered not in because of unbelief: 7 again, He limits a certain day [time of opportunity], saying in David [in the Psalms], "Today, AFTER SO LONG A TIME;" as it is said, "Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." [Psalm 95:7-8]

Here the word of God sets out a pattern for us. During the time of Moses and Joshua (about 1500BC) the Spirit tried hard to get the people to accept His gift. When they refused He was restricted until the events of David’s lifetime. That’s why He says "after so long a time"! He had to wait 500 years (approximately 10 generations) for any great show of interest, but then they slipped away into the monarchy (about 1000BC).

There was another small window of opportunity in Ezra and Nehemiah’s time (about 500BC) but that soon fizzled out when they refused to build the new temple according to His directions and trod it underfoot. The next clear time was the "day" the letter was written to the Hebrew Christians, about another 500 years later still. There’s more to this principle which we can look at another time.

8 For if Jesus [Joshua] had given them "rest" [when they crossed the river into the land of promise], then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.

9 There remains therefore a "rest" to the people of God [today, Paul’s time].

10 For he that is entered into His [Sabbath] "rest", he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from His.

11 Let us labour therefore [give up our own works] to enter into that "rest", lest any man [of us] fall after the same example of unbelief. 12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

We need to "labour", not to get the "rest", but to stop trying to do our works for salvation. The gospel is the good news that Jesus will free us without price from inherited sin (sometimes called the sin-master within) and the acceptance of this gift is signified by our stopping all secular work once a week and keeping God’s day. Just as the Son of God did after the creation week. Genesis 2:1-3.

Exodus 31:12-16

And the LORD [the Son of God] spoke to Moses, saying, Speak you also to the children of Israel, saying, Verily My Sabbaths you shall keep: FOR IT IS A SIGN BETWEEN ME AND YOU [it is His "wedding ring" which we may proudly wear] throughout your generations; THAT YOU MAY KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD THAT DOES SANCTIFY YOU [sets you free].

You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy to you: every one that defiles it shall surely be put to death: for whoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people [for He has rejected justification by faith].

Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath OF REST, holy to the LORD: whoever does any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

It is the people who accept the gift of God and "marry" Christ who become the "just" ones. Jesus works for them in the heavenly sanctuary. It is they, as Sabbath-keepers, who come to the sanctuary in heaven with their spiritual offerings and sacrifices for actions of sins which they have committed since their rebirth. Then they are forgiven and cleansed. See Hebrews 13:10, 15. It is not that we CAN’T stop sinning, but that we WON’T, which is the problem. We need forgiveness for "adultery" not "divorce" and He, as our heavenly Husband can give us that.

He also offers us a "way" in which to stop, for although He will freely and continually forgive us, we are "scarring" our lives by our behaviour and he would like to stop that. 1 Corinthians 10:13-14.

1 John 1:5-10

This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and [yet] walk in darkness, we lie, and DO not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

The removal of the "old man" we were born with is pictured in the Passover lamb ceremony as Paul wrote to the Corinthians. In the next breath God asks Christians to "keep the feast", not literally, but with an understanding of spiritual things.

1 Corinthians 5:7-8

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump [have new understandings], as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast [the seven day period after the Passover], not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

The "leaven" was defined by Jesus as the teachings of the church leaders of the day. These were so far removed from the truth that even His disciples found it hard to accept His doctrines as the right ones. But they did eventually. Matthew 16:5-12.

With that in mind we should "look to Jesus" back in Hebrews ....

14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest [in the sanctuary above], that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but [One who] was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

 

See you there hopefully,

Regards,

Ron

oooOooo

On to Conversation #027

To the reader,

If there is anything not clear to you as you read my answer, please feel free to mail me and ask about it. I promise not to send you anything but a direct answer to your question. I won't argue about it, just share with you what I have seen.

I won't ask you to join a new church or offshoot either!

Click here to contact me.


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